Personal tools
You are here: Home Members carl Carl's Blog training equipment

training equipment


Video toys on the way

Mum got me a VIRB for my birthday!

I know .. I'll be 43(!) in March, mum asked, I told her, she said yes.  I have a Garmin VIRB Elite ANT+ video camera coming.

Why is this any funkier than my collection of GoPro Hero's?

It does power.  Last week Garmin updated the firmware in the VIRB to store power meter data.  No, this isn't a substitute for a power meter computer, I'm not replacing my Cyclops Joule 1.0's for VIRB's (at 4.5x the price!), but it does make overlaying performance data onto video a lot quicker and easier than it has been 'til now.  The old way, was to use Dashware to overlay power data onto video, but it was a messy, time consuming task.  With the new VIRB update, I can get video data much more quickly combined with power and speed, so it becomes practical to do, maybe even during a training session.  Handy?  Yes, for teaching and explaining what happens in, for example, a team sprint.  We take hand splits with stop watches, but if we have video, with power and speed, we can actually see what's really happening and make more intelligent gear choices and pacing decisions.

Same sort of thing with flying 200's and the like.  I'm excited at what I think we can do with this toy.



SRM battery replacement

Finally some batteries arrived ....

Nic Mark got himself a set of SRM cranks, powercontrol V, single reed switch job.  I've already replaced batteries in the fancier two reed switch special I got last year, which was easy once I found a supplier for the batteries, the single reed switch version is a little fiddlier, but still pretty easy to do.

Photos here.


How accurate is hand timing?

On the weekend at the Vic track cup, I did some hand timing

At the Vic Track cup, I did some hand timing, it's interesting to compare to the electronic system - my average error was 0.04s, the worst was 0.13s (I was distracted for that one by people in front of the start line).

Touted around is that hand timing is no better than 0.1s, I say "rubbish", if you're concentrating and not having your line of sight blocked, you can be around 0.05s or better pretty consisantly.  Here's the raw data, electronic timing rounded to hundredths.



Hand Electronic

12.48 12.39 0.1
11.44 11.40 0.04
11.63 11.60 0.03
11.15 11.09 0.06
11.96 11.90 0.06

12.35 12.34 0.01
11.47 11.50 0.03
13.76 13.71 0.05
11.93 11.90 0.03
13.12 13.08 0.04
13.05 13.01 0.04


12.35 12.31 0.04
12.40 12.37 0.03
11.54 11.50 0.04
10.77 10.77 0
11.26 11.22 0.04

11.63 11.61 0.02
11.24 11.22 0.02
10.87 10.88 0.01
10.91 10.92 0.01
11.37 11.39 0.02
12.00 12.02 0.02
11.42 11.41 0.01
11.40 11.35 0.05
10.94 10.81 0.13


Golden Cheetah 3.0

It's out and it's funky!

Those of you using Golden Cheetah to look at your power data, 3.0 has been released. It's available here :


Gears, again...

What the rest of the world does

In the UK :  

youth A u16..6.93m - ~7m, ~same as us, 1 year offset younger kids
youth B u14..6.45m  - bigger than us
youth C u12..6.05m  - bigger than us
youth D u10..5.40m  - ~same
youth E u8..5.10m - do we have U8's?!

They're not falling apart, in fact, Le Poms seem to do pretty well ...

In the US (not so much a powerhouse anymore, but interesting all the same) :

17-18: Unrestricted
15-16: 6.78 meters (22'3")(48x15)
13-14: 6.36 meters (20'10.5")(48x16)
10-12: 6.00 meters (19’8”)(48x17)
For Juniors 16 and under who are competing in Championship team sprint, team pursuit, keirin, or Madison the 17-18 (unrestricted) gear limit applies.

I don't have the rules for other countries yet, watch this space ..



Spin is done for 2012!

25 uberbollas, 1 BBQ, and we're done!

Some stats :

150kg of mince beef

25kg of tomato paste

1.5kg of oregano(!)

50kg of canned tomatos!

That's a lot of bolla sauce!

Our busiest night had 27 people training at the clubrooms.

The hardest enduro session was the last one (it' a buildup)

It gets quiet once September starts, sprinters come en-mass, but enduros go road riding.

Very cold, wet nights seem to see attendance down a little, which is odd, because you didn't go riding that day, it was awful!

We went through a lot of deck tape on the Kurts with the sprint group using the big flywheels.

We'll be back for more in 2013, thank you to everyone that came, if you do it regularly, performance improves considerably.


Please, Minoura, give us our rollers back ...

An open letter to Minoura Japan

I have two sets, the VIS has heaps, the AIS, NSWIS, Cycing Vic and WAIS all own dozens of them. Hilton owns at least 4 sets, of the Minoura Action roller.  Why these rollers in particular?  They're not perfect, they have aluminium roller drums with 105mm diameter, which is good, but nasty plastic endcaps that fail with heavy use.  The big plus for us is the way they fold up into a small space and they have a reliable, simple bag to transport them.  I get to carry them around a lot, and the bag, and the trifoldability, is a BIG win.  This is why just about every state track team has heaps of them.  105mm metal roller drums and great transportability.  Got it?

Not that long ago they got discontinued.  Why? I don't know, the replacement is the Moz roller, same trifold frame, but smaller 80mm plastic roller drums (BAD!) and a fancier bag that has a zip instead of a flap.  This is bound to fail in our use-case.  We move lots of these rollers (Hilts' van may have a floor lined with 16 sets of rollers when we travel to championships etc) and anything with a zipper is bound to fail.

So, Minoura, please re-release the Action rollers.  If you want to make them better, replace the plastic roller endcaps with something more robust, but otherwise LEAVE THEM ALONE!


Soooo close ...

A new peak power PB!

Last night at Spin, I set a new power PB of 1,597 watts.  I had a goal of 1,600, how close is that?  Given that it's a Powertap and not 100% accurate, I could stretch the truth and say I got it, but that's bollocks!  Anyway, power is going up reasonably consistently, it's amazing what a bit of unbroken training can do.  There's a hint - consistent training ... Keep working ...


A teaser on velodrome design

Basic maths, but interesting all the same



What a mess ...

I'm trying to sort out a workable, scalable calendaring solution for the millions of things, people etc that I have to keep track of.  Google Calendar seems to be pretty nice, it has the ability to show and hide things, share calendars, delegate permissions etc.  I'm trialing it with some of the guys in Norway and hopefully will find a way to integrate Plone events (this website, the site) with it somehow.  Adding things in multiple places is error prone and a PITA.  Watch this space ...


Ergo programs

Formalising my ergo programs a bit

Some of you know about The Book.  I've been working on this bit lately and populating the sample ergo sessions. 


You say you want a revolution

Well, you know, we all want to change the world ...

Tonight at Spin we tested the Lemond Revolution under Dino.

To paraphrase :

It's much harder to spin up than the Kurt Kinetic, but it's too easy once it's going.

That's Dino's thoughts - given that we care about the acceleration phase, this might be a good thing.  It's noticeably less stable than a KKRM, and a LOT noisier (as you'd expect, it's a wind trainer after all, albeit a fancy one).  I will try it under a few other guys and see what they think.




New stuff

I have a Lemond Revolution on order to try out

Ok, we won't get power from it, at least, not acceleration, although it may be calibrated for steady state (enduro) training, but I have one of these coming which will hopefully be in time for this Tuesday's ergo.

Interesting bit of kit ...

lemond revolution

We'll review it once we've tried it out.  Rumour has it it has a decent flywheel in it, and if so, and direct drive, it might be a game changer for ergos.  If they made one with a built in powermeter ...


Keeping warm

Riding around in circles gets pretty cold

It's proving to be a cold winter, and riding around in circles on the motorbike at DISC is .. pretty chilly.  It's been around 10 degrees or so in there for the last couple of sessions, and after a few laps, one starts to shiver somewhat!

So, how do we keep warm?  I have a few layers on, but one nifty thing I got recently is a kayaking neoprene skullcap.  Yep, a rubber hat (insert gimp joke here now).  One of these, nifty!


Seriously fast

DISC, motorbike ...

I've been working on going faster (oh, really?) - not just on the pushbike, which my untalented body will resist as much as it can, but also on the motorbike.  At DISC, to motorpace the really fast guys, I have to be able to ride the bank at around 80km/h.  That's bloody quick.  It takes a lot of 'turn off your fear' to do it.  Anyway ... Under Hilton's tutilage I'm slowly becoming a reasonable motorpace rider - far from perfect (Hilts is THE master of this art ...) but I have a few thousand kilometers logged riding around that track now and am getting to be ok at it. I can even ride the bank at 70km/h looking backwards now.  That's taken some time to get comfortable doing.  I don't like doing it in the lane or close to the rail yet, but above the lane I'm fine with it now.

But .. to go really fast ..

The motorbike is speed limited by basic physics.  Gravity, friction and centripetal force. Centripetal force increases to the square of velocity - ie: increases in speed means much more friction to stop the bike slipping up the bank, the faster you go, the more it tries to fly up and over the fence.  The banks at DISC are 42 degrees steep, slower than around 30km/h and the motorbike slips down, faster than around 90 (I guess) it will slip up (I haven't tested this yet).  Unless the tyres hit the painted lines, in which case there's a lot less friction and it slips, which is quite un-nerving but so far, hasn't resulted in a crash.  You get used to it when crossing the lines at speed. It's just a little wobble ... And after the first few times and realising it doesn't mean a crash, it's ok!

So .. to go really fast ..

The speedo reads fast, 80km/h indicated is really about 75km/h.  Riding the motorbike down in the sprinters lane at indicated 80 is a bit spooky, it's a reasonably tight radius and feels "iffy", but is doable, even in winter, once I've warmed up the tyres. I used to be a bit scared at 60km/h .. heh .. 60?  That's creeping!  It's a lot easier to go that fast just below the blue line, so that's what I was trying yesterday between efforts with the NTID/VIS guys.  I saw close to 90km/h on the speedo (estimated that's around 85km/h actual) when I felt the left hand footpeg touch the boards.  Ok, that's as quick as we're going! To go any quicker than than I'll have to hang off the side of the bike.  Erm ...

So .. I went pretty quick ..

And that's today's blog entry.  Sometimes I reckon I have the best job in the world, riding a motorbike in circles at an indoor velodrome at stupidly quick speeds is ace fun.




Another trainer to try?

Looks good for enduros, potential to be good for sprint

For a long time I've been a champion of the Kurt Kinetic Road Machine ergo.  I think I own 6 of them?  It's got a stonkingly heavy flywheel which makes it good (ok, at least, viable) for standing start and acceleration work, which sprinters need.  It's not without issues - the main one being tyre slip under heavy torque - ie: Those standing starts that we want to train on it.  It's issue is that it uses a roller drive, and we can work around that with skateboard deck tape (lasts around 5-10 starts depending on the rider) and it does eat tyres.  We can mate it up to a road powertap and get power and torque (sorta) from it, which is good too.  They're also pretty quiet (fluid), unlike wind trainers.

But ... it's roller driven.  A direct drive would be better, without doubt.  Of course, to do this, would mean that the powertap wouldn't be any use, so we'd lose our data.  Bugger ... We could use SRM's, if we had a huge budget, alas, not this week!

The other good trainer is the BT Ergo, which is a direct drive wind trainer.  It's bulky, it's very expensive and it has next to no inertial load (no flywheel) so it's not good for training acceleration (great for constant power etc, but not for sprint work where we want to target acceleration).   It, being direct drive, does not suffer from wheel slip though (although, since it has no significant flywheel, that's not really an issue with it anyway!). There's a power-based trainer or two around as well, the Computrainer is probably the most famous of them, but it's not a sprinters trainer.  And the AIS's Wombat, the VIS's Godzilla etc (custom made jobbies, with uber-flywheels and SRM's and a big budget to put them together!)

Here's a new player on the block (thanks to Scott McGrory, we had a brief chat about it yesterday at DISC). It's the Lemond Revolution.  Direct drive (no slip) and a flywheel.  We lose out on power measurements with it, at least at the moment, but it might be worth a play - I will see if I can get one to add to the collection of trainers I have, to see if it can fill a niche in our sprint ergo program.  If the flywheel has enough mass and we gear it up right it might be a valuable tool.



Scatto is good

Especially for junior females

Modelled by Emily, I present the 3T Scatto.


  Compare to her using the Easton EC90's, which were 38cm c-c :


  Much better!

Bear in mind that the camera used to take these shots is a GoPro with a very wide lens, so there is a bit of distortion that makes it look worse than it was with the EC90's


back into training

At last I can squat again

Where there's an orthopaedic issue, there's an engineering solution.  I present Dave Draper's  Top Squat


 Not since April 2010 have I been able to do a proper squat.  I've been able to front squat (sucks....), deadlift etc but with a SLAP tear and osteoarthritis in my shoulders the rotation of my arms was restricted (and still is and probably always will be) such that I can't hold the barbell properly.  But with this doodad I can.  Sorta - it's not perfect, but it's a damn sight better than not being able to do it.

So on Monday (still full of mental and physical fatigue after the Aust titles in Sydney) I got under the bar for the first time in about 9 months or so.  I only worked up to a lazy 80kg workset, the technique is a little different and there's a couple of tricks to using it (keep the thing LEVEL! or the barbell slips to one side, not ideal!) but in general it's a great bit of kit.  On Tuesday I had DOMS and that is good!

Yesterday I got to DISC early and Hilts gave me a couple of MACC's for fun.  I slapped on 96" to do 'em. Here's the graph of the last effort.  It was supposed to be 375m, with me riding the last 125m unassisted, but Hilts blew the whistle, which means keep going, and it ended up being 500m.  I think I found a new HRmax ... They are FUN! Hilton is a superb derny rider.  I have much to learn.





This is what I want!

The guy who did it used car power telemetry software, which just reads CSV data. I reckon we can hack something up to do it with our track powermeters and that will be sexy!


Ice ice baby

I never ask my guys to do something I'm not prepared to do myself ...

And so we trained tonight at Blackburn, a solid session, the two who are off to the Junior Vics next week did some gate technique practice and some short, sharp but low volume stuff as part of their taper.  I did the same as them.  It was pretty warm, so afterwards it's off to the aboc powerhaus to do some recovery ... The AIS recovery protocol for sprint is 10 mins at 15 degrees in an ice bath standing up.  Cue one big green wheelie bin, two bags of ice, a ladder and three hot sprinters.   

I never put my charges through something I'm not prepared to do myself.  Brrrr!

Dino got photos, I'll put them up when I get them.  Dino .. send photos, the people demand proof!

Powered by Plone CMS, the Open Source Content Management System

This site conforms to the following standards: